Thursday, November 29, 2018

Labuan Marine Museum

The museum, situated inside, was opened to the public in January 2003. Specialising in marine life exhibition, this is the first marine museum of such a concept in Malaysia.

I was truly surprised to learn that this small Labuan island has so many museums and that most of it are free. There’s the Chimney Museum, Labuan Museum and now the Marina Museum. Not only that, you can even go island hopping in Labuan, and the islands around Labuan are simply beautiful (will blog about the islands separately). And of course, there’s plenty of outdoor activities such as ATV by beach, perahu larai, zipling by the beach, nature trekking at the mangrove, on the island and etc. Oh! All museums are free, kid you not – FREE. I guess, what I am trying to say is not to doubt small island, especially Labuan.

OK, back to the Marine Museum. Wasn’t sure what to expect initially as I have never been to a marine museum before in my life. Yeah yeah… I know, what you guys gonna say that I have been to a few Viking ship museums before this and then there’s the Maritime Museum in Melaka (which talks more about the maritime in Melaka itself and not marine stuff in general). So visiting Labuan Marine Museum seems like a must-do activity in Labuan for me, and I have no regrets.

Opened since 2003, the Marine Museum is located inside the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex and is said to be the first marine museum in Malaysia. The museum is split into 16 galleries covering live specimen, preserved species of marine creatures, types of corals, fishing technics, shipwrecks information and many more.

Live fishes are being displayed as you entered the museum, namely damselfish, butterflyfish, porcupinefish and others.

Aside from showcasing local fishes in Labuan, the museum has information on the 4 famous shipwrecks in Labuan water. The shipwrecks in Labuan (yeah, you can dive as well) are 'Cement wreak', 'American Wreak', 'Australian Wreak', and 'Blue Water Wreak' – two are from World War II and the other two are from the 1980's. It is a heaven for divers.

Coral Reef Biodiversity 
The Labuan Marine Park comprises areas extending two nautical miles where the three islands are located – Kuraman Island, Rusukan Kecil Island and Rusukan Besar Island (you simply must visit these island); that was gazetted in 1994 as marine park. The reef patches such as Montipora monasteriata, Cyphastrea chalcidicum, Acropora valida and Pavona crassa among others are located in shallow area and grow on the granitic rock.

Blast Fishing 
Also highlighted in the Marine Museum is the blast fishing or dynamite fishing; using detonator, plant poison, cynide and etc to kill the fishes for easy collection. However, this process is illegal and damages the ecosystem as well as our marine life; threatens our coral reefs and contributes to the decline in fish populations. Upon seeing this in the museum, I did a little reading (not that I don’t know blast fishing is bad, more to I don’t know how many types of blast fishing are there) and found out Malaysia is mentioned in a few websites. This is not good guys, do educate you family and friends on the importance of NOT to do blast fishing yah.

The highlight of the museum is actually the Indian Fin Whale 42-foot skeleton. I felt as if I entered a Jurassic Park for creatures of the sea.

The whale found on Sebatu Beach in Malacca and has been ‘touring’ and ‘exhibiting’ itself around town in Raffles Museum, Singapore and of course the National Museum. Perhaps in the future they should put sperm whale skeleton as well. That. Will. Be. So. Cool.

So, jom lah ke Labuan! 

Labuan Marine Museum 
Kompleks Sukan Air Antarabangsa Labuan
Jalan Tanjung Purun

Operating Hours 
Time : 8.30am - 5pm daily (closed on first day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha)

Entrance Fees 

Explore Labuan Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Perbadanan Sabah and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Remembrance Day 2018, Labuan

Armistice Day, later known as Remembrance Day; is commemorated every year and this year marks the 100th year anniversary since the first world war ended in 1918, and in Labuan per se, it is to also honored heroes that who lost their lives in Borneo during World War II from 1941-45. War veterans from Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, India, locals and many more gather in Labuan World War II Memorial to pay respect to the unsung heroes of yesteryears. The Labuan World War II Memorial consist of 3908 burials of which 2,156 were unidentified names, 858 are made up of Australians and 814 British while the rest comprised of others and Indians. There are 34 Indian soldiers, whose remains were cremated.

This year is the 100th Year Anniversary of Remembrance Day was in collaboration between Labuan Corporation in cooperation with Royal Malaysian Arm Forces, Royal Malaysian Police from Sabah and Labuan, Labuan Health Department, Ministry Of Tourism, Arts & Culture Malaysia Labuan, Tourism Malaysia, Civil Defence Department Malaysia, Commonwealth War Grave Commission, Labuan Scout Association, Labuan Red Crescent and Labuan Media Association.

During the event, dignitaries, family of fallen heroes as well as war veterans contributed and participated in the wreath-laying ceremony. Other ceremonial formalities include reversed arm (leaning on a weapon held upside down), the lone bagpiper, the sound of the last post and the moment of silence.

In respect of the Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Hindu religious rites, the prayers were done concurrently in respected burial ground located nearby.

During the Remembrance Day, war veterans and tourist pay a visit to sites that memorialize renunciation of the horrors of war. Surrender Point is where the surrender of 37th Imperial Japanese Army to the 9th Australian Imperial Forces on 9 September 1945. It is said that Lieutenant General Masao Baba officially handed his sword as a sign of surrender to Major General George Wootten during the ceremony and this marks the end of World War II in Borneo.

Built and maintained by the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation, the Peace Park is situated next to the Surrender Point as an acknowledgement of the trouble and trauma that their forefathers have caused in the past.

The World War II Memorial; where the Remembrance Day event took place was constructed and maintained by the Commonwealth Graves Commission. It is also a sign of respect to the fallen heroes during the Japanese occupancy, the World War II and the infamous Sandakan Death Marches. There are 3908 burials, and 1,752 are identified; 1, 523 soldiers, 220 airmen, 5 sailors and 4 civilians. Those unidentified were emboldened with the words “Known Unto God”.

Explore Labuan Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Perbadanan Sabah and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Labuan Museum and Negeri-negeri Selat

Do you know how it feels when you found out that you were wrong all this while?
Or perhaps, you did not read and understand thoroughly?
Or not one knew about this info all these while!

Well, this is the story of Me, Labuan Story and the Straits Settlement (Negeri-negeri Selat). 
Let me set the stage so that you guys can clear understand my train of thoughts (or bewilderment) when I got this information. First and foremost, we were told that Labuan is part of Straits Settlement of which, all this while, I thought the Straits Settlement consist of Penang, Melaka and Singapore. I guess I was NOT right.

Secondly, I have always enjoyed museums, a small quaint one is simply perfect as I find it more intimate, within reach (I love touching stuff) and not that overwhelming, making digesting the info and feel - easy. More consumable than the large scale museum. But Labuan Museum did totally the opposite, the info was overwhelming and new (I was running from one end to the other to compare notes, I ever backtracked to relook at the Labuan flag and Brunei family chart just to reaffirm the details.

Last but not least, Sir Hugh Low of whom I always thought helped to introduce rubber/rubber tree in Perak actually started his career in Borneo, namely Labuan, Sabah and Sarawak. I was like ‘just wait a minute, this is a lot to consume in the first 30 minutes of my visit to Labuan Museum’. For a person who loves history, UNESCO sites and all… I basically flipped. An hour visit is insufficient, I need at least 2 hours here (MINIMUM) hence I need to revisit Labuan and its museums again (hint hint to Perbadanan Labuan and Gaya Travel).

Let’s share some insight on the 3 items I shared earlier (as above) with some visual help (to justify what I read). It says clearly that in 1871, Sir John Pope Hanessey; the colonial Governor of Labuan in 1867 suggested Labuan be united with the Straits Settlements so that it may develop further but the Colonial Office did not accept his suggestion. And in 1906, the Colonial Office took over Labuan and was incorporated into the Straits Settlements in 1907 as part of British Colony. On 1st December 1012, the status of Labuan as part of Straits Settlements was confirmed.

On to the 2nd item, this is pretty straight forward as you can see in the video, I basically touch the board as I read (sorry yek curator museum).

Lastly, Sir Hugh Low, a colonial administrator and naturalist joined James Brooke, the White Rajah in Sarawak writing on botany in the Sarawak Journals, he later held various colonial roles in Labuan and was the Consul General of Borneo. He also documented ascent of Mount Kinabalu in 1851 thus both Kinabalu's highest peak as well as the gorge on the northern side are named after him. Only in 1877, he was transferred to the Malay Peninsula and became the 4th Resident of Perak.

And all this info that I just shared, is just a section of the museum. I did not even covered the upstairs nor the other half of the ground floor. Well, I guess I need a repeat trip huh! (Sorry, I was so absorb that I forgot to take photos of the museum)

Operating Hours
Daily : 8.30am - 5.00pm
Closed on first day of Eid al-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha
Entrance Fee : FREE

Labuan Museum
Jalan Dewan, Bandar Labuan
Labuan, Wilayah Persekutuan

Tel : +6087-414 135
Email :

Explore Labuan Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Perbadanan Sabah and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Beach ATV ride in Labuan

You guys know that I like outdoor adventurous stuff kan despite I don’t like the hot sun, leeches, stickiness (usually from hanging by the sea) and etc. But when there is ATV in an itinerary, I usually won’t say no, never (well, unless I have to climb or it involves height) … Well, seeing ATV as one of the activities in our Labuan trip doesn’t exactly awe me, ‘been there, done that’ was my reaction. As for toughness level - I have done a few tough/extreme ones, I have even experience riding an ATV around the Siem Reap villages and paddy field at sunset. Hence, it takes a lot to impress me (flip hair).

And you know what?
They did just that.
They impressed me.
Kow tow.

In order to keep things in perspective and in a structured manner, I will share their unique selling point that I certainly appreciate (it’s more clear cut this way lah kan).

1. Friendly and prioritise safety
Well, most ATV operators are. And this one is too. Showed us the steps, guided us (those forgetful few – yeah! Like me!), ensuring we have driving license (eh!) and accommodative (ni penting).

2. Terrain
Technically it is not that extreme or tough as we did not cover jungles, rives or plantation and whatnot. Having said that, jeng jeng jeng…. They promise us that it will be an experience of a life time (gitewww), hence, muddy terrain was enhanced (read ; purposely), steepness of molehill was not forgotten, slim log bridge was included (at a few places). Adventurous – check.

3. View
All you need to do is cross the road, and it’s the tadaaaaa… beach!

4. Vehicle
Its sturdy and robust. No squeaky sound nor does it rambles like a motorboat.

5. Beach ATV ride
My dream came true (sampai mimpi kita, wak…). Well, with one strict rule though – no riding in/near the water (salt waterkan, nanti rosak ATV tu). The moment they say, we riding the ATV at the beach, everyone starts taking out the cameras, smartphones and drone. We ride like there is no tomorrow, speed without worrying the bumpy surface, breaks ever so freely as no one is blocking you path (and if they do, the beach is wide kot, corner ler tempat lain kan) and allowing the sea breeze kisses our sun tanned beach boy/girl face. Heavenly feeling with rugged on the side. We were the outriders!

6. Photo
Here’s the thing – single photo BY the ATV, single photo ON the ATV, single photo KONON-KONON RIDING the ATV, group photo BY the ATV, group photo ON the ATV, group photo KONON-KONON RIDING the ATV. Of course then there’s the photo with the mud splashing the ATV, photo KONON-KONON SKIDDING, photo taken from the back view, photo taken from side view, as well as photo taken from the front view. Eh! Belum habis lagi…. Photo by the beach, photo by the beach with ATV, photo BY the beach ON the ATV… etc etc etc. By now you got the drift lah kan kot. You can guess berapa juta photos we have on our camera of ourselves and of others kan. And mind you, all the above mentions were excluding the drone footage tau.

What I would have appreciated even more (of which I doubt they will comply. Ever.) is to have a long journey ride – like those snow mobile ride, and ends it with a barbeque by the beach. It will be so cool kan (hint hint). Whaddayathink?

Operation Hour
Wednesday – Sunday : 9:00am - 4:30pm (booking is required)
Walk-in on weekends

Smart Ryders ATV

Whatsapp: +60143580027

Explore Labuan Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Perbadanan Sabah and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel as media coordinator.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Telekom Museum Kuala Lumpur

Built in 1928 to house the Central Battery Manual Telephone Exchange, this building is now home to Muzium Telekom. Located at the intersection of Jalan Gereja and Jalan Raja Chulan, this magnificent building is 82 years of age (1928-2010) and was declared a historic landmark by the National Archives of Malaysia Negara. 

And I told myself die-die also I must visit this place, I remembered vaguely the last time I was here... a couple of old phones and etc. It was so-so if my memory serves me right. Well, obviously, my memory failed me. BIG TIME!

This is what I've imagined - the telephony evolution. Basically just that, full stop. Period. But NOOOOOOO.... It also talks about communication evolution - from Batu Bersurat to Pasu Bersurat (yeah, first time hearing this!), and from morse code to the internet era. Not forgetting the beduk communication, they even showed us the beduk sound for emergency, azan and death. I was half expecting smoke signal will be showcased here too, but nahhhhhh... kenot main api depa they say, dangerous wor.

It also displayed the birth of phone right thru what we are using now – smart phones. Hey! They even have ATUR and satellite phone, have you heard and seen an ATUR phone before? No huh! Go check them out when you are there. While you are there, do check-out the public phones that we used to use – way before everyone owns a mobile phone.

This is something I hold close to my heart – branding. A true blue marketing person that I am, I was excited when I saw the transition from the first logo that Telekom ever had till the one we are using now. And I can only remember Jabatan Telekom logo, the one with the phone in the middle. What I didn’t realized was that it went thru more changes after that as well as before that.

I also learnt that all the telecommunication towers in Malaysia is owned by Telekom Malaysia namely Menara Kuala Lumpur and Menara Alor Setar.

A Telegraph Museum was recently launched in July 2018 in the same building that housed the first Post and Telegraph office in Tanah Melayu back in 1883. It is located at Jalan Stesen in Taiping. I myself have not been there but will definitely be ni my Perak bucket list aside from covering the rest of 33 first Taiping of course. The museum covers submarine cable from the 1870s, a massive stone grinder, old clothing and many items from between the 18th century right to 2012. What makes it even better is that this building is recognized as National Heritage Building. The entrance fee is RM8 for adults and RM5 for children while for non-Malaysia is RM15 per person.

So, if you guys are curious of the communication evolution in Malaysia (so yeah, no smoke signal here), drop by at the Muzium Telekom here in KL, it is near the Plaza Rakyat/China Town (about 10mins walk). You won’t regret it, trust me.

Operating Hours
9am - 5pm (closed on public holiday)

Entrance Fee
Adult - RM6
Kid - RM3

#UnseenKL Media Fam Trip is in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia, #VisitKL and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel Magazine as media coordinator.

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